There’s much debate in minority communities about terminology and meanings, especially in those communities that are targeted for lots of hate speech. This article, and the comments, left me as unsure of meanings as before I read it. Sex Reassignment: What’s in a Word?

But it forced me to think and write again on an aspect of mammal behavior that has seemed inevitable, but sad….

Véronique wrote:
“I think we face discrimination more because we violate some fundamental beliefs about the immutability of the sex of human beings. We are profoundly disturbing not because of any association with sexual intercourse but because we break what people think are rules, and some of them think are rules given by a deity.”

Whether the ‘rules’ come from a deity, or from the nature of human thought process, it’s certain that Véronique has touched on a core issue for most humans. By nature we are organizing creatures, we say, ‘animal, vegetable, mineral?’, ‘Black, white, brown, yellow?’, ‘Top or bottom?’, ‘Male or female?’

On the most immediate level, all sexual creatures, when meeting one of their own species during a mating cycle, must immediately ascertain ‘competitor or mate?’. Genetic survival demands that these questions be answered quickly and correctly. For humans, which are fairly unique in our ‘constantly-in-heat’ physiology, that physiologic gender classification of concave or convex is probably the most primal classification we make of other humans. That classification is more primal than friend or enemy, tribemate or stranger, race, age, anything… Remember that same-gender sex play and attraction is common in all sorts of species, but I think that sexual attraction is not nearly as primal as gender identification.

This then is the quandary faced by the transgendered, their bodies lie about their very identity, and that identity is the most important measure of one human to another. This is hateful, and I wish it weren’t so, because it forces us to feel like the animals we are first, only thinking with compassion after the fact.